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Man in court charged with murder of international concert pianist

Natalia Strelchenko
Natalia Strelchenko

A man will appear in court today charged with the murder of international concert pianist Natalia Strelchenko.

John Martin, 48, is accused of murdering Ms Strelchenko, 38, at her home in Newton Heath, Manchester, on Sunday.

He has also been charged with the attempted murder of a boy under the age of 17 and was remanded in custody ahead of his appearance at Manchester Magistrates' Court.

Martin, of Culcheth Lane, Newton Heath, is reported to be Ms Strelchenko's partner.

Police and paramedics were called to Culcheth Lane at 12.45am on Sunday and attempted to revive Ms Strelchenko - who also used the name Natalia Strelle - but she died a short time later in hospital.

A Home Office post-mortem examination found she died from head and neck injuries.

Ms Strelchenko, who was of Russian origin, was a renowned solo pianist of international calibre who made her debut at the age of 12 with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra.

She has performed at New York's Carnegie Hall and London's Wigmore Hall, eliciting effusive reviews from the classical music press.

She had been artist in residence at Leeds College of Art and a research fellow at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.

Neighbours say she had been living in Manchester for around two years after moving from Norway, but the family were often away from home on tour playing concerts, according to local reports.

Her family said in a statement: "Natalia was a talented, beautiful, much-loved mother, daughter, sister and friend. She will be greatly missed."